The planned Saturday night benefit concert featuring Jon Bon Jovi and Amy Grant is no more. Book Expo America announced late yesterday that concert benefiting the Book Industry Foundation, which is comprised of the Association of American Publishers‘ (AAP) Get Caught Reading Campaign and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) was scuttled after the concert’s main sponsor, Flying Dolphin Press, informed BEA that Bon Jovi’s forthcoming book BELIEVE was postponed indefinitely from its original November 2007 publication date. “It is with great regret that Flying Dolphin Press announces that Bon Jovi will not be performing at BEA in June,” the Random House imprint said in a statement to BEA officials.
“I cannot begin to express my regret about this development, and I apologize profusely to all our many attendees who I know were looking forward to this event,” said Lance Fensterman, Event Director for BEA. “At the same time, I also want to say that I do know that Flying Dolphin feels terribly about this and I know they approached us with the firmest conviction and every belief that Mr. Bon Jovi would perform. Unfortunately, as we all know in this business, things change fast and books do, on rare occasions, get postponed. This can sometimes be a bitter pill, especially for those of us who work in the event planning business.” When asked why the event couldn’t just proceed as scheduled with Grant, Festerman emailed back, “Grant on her own would be a big investment (financially due to staging needs) for just her (and either the publisher would have to cover that or it would come out of the charities take—neither a great option). It seemed clearer to call it, and readress it if we have the line up.”
Refunds will immediately be issued to everyone who has already purchased a ticket. Show organizers note that it is not necessary to call BEA for a refund and that all ticket holders will be notified in the next two to three weeks via email once their refund has been processed. Yet should another headliner become available, or even someone who could successfully share the bill with Grant, Festerman hinted that the show might still go on: “Our minds are very open,” he says.